Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tony Abbott and fifty shades of pie-eating ...

(Above: oh dear, Fifty Shades of Grey or what? Take care Julie Bishop!)

While in Melbourne, the pond caught up on some fascinating gossip about Andrew Landeryou, and his charming Arabic-language learning partner, but it's unfortunately not fit for publication.

The pond doesn't have the strength to duck, weave and dodge law suits in the way that the owner of Vexnews manages.

Lately the site has taken to sucking up to Tony Abbott, the most recent example being the news that the "dazzlingly successful" Tony Abbott had been caught with Fifty Shades of Grey in his kit.

In essence it's just another chance to give The Age and Fairfax a bashing, because they dared to make a note of it:

Along with jokes about desperate housewives and praise for Abbott's daring, Vexnews submits to the master:

It (the book) was thought to have really taken off because of the e-reader/tablet phenomenon where a chap or chapette can discreetly read a bit of smut without everyone noticing the cover. Now, in between engagements healing the sick and injured, the alternate Prime Minister of Australia is carrying it around in his briefcase, unabashed. Good for him.

Good for him?!

The problem of course is that carrying the book around unabashedly simply reveals Abbott to be a vacuous trend-follower of the most simple-minded kind, and even more tragically he's doing it because it's what his daughters have been reading.

That's the kind of nonsense that sees impressionable minds start reading Ayn Rand.

The book is appallingly written and virtually unreadable - the pond knows because it shamelessly downloaded a pdf copy to see what the fuss was all about, and couldn't work it out.

There is one classic in this genre, The Story of O, which offers loads of French style and an existential conundrum for an elevated conclusion, which proposes suicide as the logical outcome to the story. Now that's a story about 0 ...

As usual, the media are to blame, promoting the book with analyses like that offered by Pamela Stephenson Connolly in Fairfax under the header Most sado-masochists just like you and me.

Actually that was Stephenson Connolly writing for The Guardian two days ago, under the header Fifty Shades of Grey is bad for bondage.

Is Fairfax ever going to stop recycling stories freely available and only a click away on other sites, in a desperate attempt to pretend its threadbare opinion pages are full of enticing bodice-ripping content?

Anyhoo, Stephenson Connolly rather misses the point in scribbling about a fantasy, as if somehow the fantasy should conform to the real life, achievable expectations of average, normal, everyday common-or-garden bdsm practitioners and rope and 'cuff devotees.

She's right to have a go at the safety of cable ties - ye cats and fish, what happened to good old rope or scarves - but in the end it's a fantasy, and a pretty feeble one at that. The real problem is that it's so badly written. It started out as fan fiction, and it got even more unendurable in the makeover.

In a decent world, Tony Abbott would be ashamed to carry such an appalling stylist around with him. There are a half dozen amateur sites on the web where you can read this sort of badly written fetish tosh for free, and no one pays any attention or would say a thing about it.

But it's not a decent world, it's a world in which Tony Abbott thrives, and Vexnews panders to him for boldly wandering around with a rubbish book ...

Never mind, after admitting to downloading a pdf of the book, it gives the pond a chance to contemplate the ways of pirates on the web, and embark on a personal crusade. Anyone with something interesting to do should tune out now.

Recently a site called Blogotariat has come to the pond's attention.

Currently it seems that the pond is providing a substantial amount of content for the site.

In the usual way of aggregators like Huffington Post, the aggregator would provide a header, some teaser material, and then a link to the original post. The aggregator scores a hit, but justifies it by sending traffic the way of the original content creator.

It still irks the likes of Chairman Rupert and mainstream media suppliers, but there's at least some practical and ethical limitations which acknowledges the work of the original content creators. The pond itself wouldn't exist without the MSM to bounce off, and tries to link to sources wherever possible.

Blogotariat provides a link, but also reprints the entire post within the site. There's no reason to follow the link, and the site doesn't send traffic to the originator of the content.

Yes, the pond has the traffic data that proves it doesn't. The Lara Bingle bump is real, the Blogotariat bump isn't even a nipple clamp on the comedy of life.

Unlike the pond, Blogotariat runs commercials, and pockets the revenue. Now it's not the money - probably enough to buy a two bob watch - but the principle of the thing.

The pond thinks commercials gets in the road of asking readers to look at therapy in action, but if it ever did decide to sell out, by golly it would want to pocket the revenue and the two bob watch itself.

The pond didn't ask to be on the site, and can't get off the site, because the "contact" function doesn't work.

It is a classic case of content theft, dressed up as a do-good "spreading the news about your blog" exercise. This is hardly surprising, in the world of cyber lockers, torrents, The Pirate Bay, and light-fingered types like the pond downloading a 'try before you buy' pdf, and then deciding - after ten unreadable pages, followed by a dip into lengthy, interminable clauses relating to a NDA and a "slave contract" - that it would be better not to buy, heck it'd even be better not to try ...

It's meant to be about sex, and suddenly we're spending pages drawing up an ersatz legal document? First kill all the lawyers dearie, and then get on with the fucking ...

All the same, the flagrant pawning is irritating, if only because the 'contact' function is cunningly dysfunctional, and a civilised discussion with the site owner isn't possible.

So now the pond is embarking on a crusade. If you see messages like this at the bottom of a posting, you'll know what it's about:


The pond falls onto its bed, shoes and all, and howls. The pain is indescribable ... physical, mental ... metaphysical. The thieving, it is everywhere, seeping into the marrow of the pond's bones. Grief. This is grief. And the pond didn't bring it on itself. Deep down, a nasty, unbidden thought comes from the pond's inner goddess, Dorothy Parker be her name, her lip curled in a snarl. The physical pain from the bite of a belt is nothing, nothing compared to this devastation known as Blogotariat. Or is it Tony Abbott? The pond curls up desperately clutching the flat foil balloon and Taylor's handkerchief, but refuses to surrender itself to the simpering grief of a third rate novel.

Or some such thing. You catch the drift. Now let's see if the editor of Blogotariat reads the stuff he or she trawls and harvests.

Admittedly that'll be doing more than the pond could manage in the matter of Fifty Shades of Grey, and that from someone who acknowledges the charm of a light 'cuffing and the harmless use of scarves ...

If only that pie-eater Tony Abbott could promise the same for Australia.

(Below: count the content thievery, fully supported by the University of Adelaide which clearly likes to advertise where the content carries some fiercely whipped clout).

Here's how it should be done Blogotariat.

Say you think Tony Abbott is a pie-eater for failing to front the Indonesian President with his plan to send back the boats.

There's conclusive evidence to hand, courtesy of aap newswire, but if you want to see the pie-eater tending his pies, you'll have to head off here for the bonus third picture.

Pies and the dominant male in need of a birching for lack of balls when given the chance to strut his stuff in front of another dominant male? What can possibly be said?


  1. I read your blog via Google Reader. I trust you're getting the hits?

  2. It's all in good fun Jim. If the pond was running ads, the hits would mean something, but as it is, it was the malfunctioning "contact" form that sent the pond into a frenzy. If you've got a blog, why not indulge in personal feuds? But it's good to hear that Google Reader is working for you. Must give it a try sometime.

  3. How did Vexnews' agent get to see the book in Abbott's briefcase? Did it show up on the scanners?

  4. The contact form is always working at the proper site

  5. So now there's a proper and an improper site? Why offer a useless contact form, on a page which doesn't provide any guide to the proper site and the proper contact form? Humbug.

    The contact form wasn't working on blogotariat, nor was it working on your other site. None of this need have happened if you'd been paying attention, rather than using a robot to scrape and purloin, without even a polite request in the first place for permission to do so, and then plastering the whole site with the purloined content. It's just cheeky, especially when cheeky posts pointing to a rift, an issue and a problem are ignored because you're simply weren't paying attention, until it became a nuke the fridge option.

    But here's an idea. Try writing your own blog ...

  6. The contact form has been working and continues to work - I have received many emails through it. The site has always been For some reason you have accessed the old site through lornetimes - I had two running whilst the transition to the new format settled. Thanks for bringing that to my attention - I have taken it down. I normally do pay attention but this last week I have been away from home. I have blogged previously but lost interest after 300+ posts about politics and the 2007 election. I do have other things to do.

  7. Other things to do? Like setting up robots to scrape other people's content? Away with ye, ye'll nae get any more feedback from the pond ...


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